NPD Group Sept 2021 Report: Nintendo Switch’s 33-Month Market lead Broken by PlayStation 5

Ule Lopez
PlayStation 5 system software update

For over three years, the Nintendo Switch was a dominant console in terms of sales. However, after 33 months, the PlayStation 5 has broken this lead by having the most sales in the United States in September 2021. This information was stated in the latest NPD Group report (broken down by NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella) that covered the U.S. Games Industry sales.

The report states that September's hardware dollar sales increased by 49% compared to September 2020 to $412 million. Year-to-date hardware spending has also gained 49% when compared to the same period a year ago, totaling $3.4 billion. In both units and dollars, the PlayStation 5 became the best-selling platform.

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NPD Group: PlayStation 5 was October 2022’s Best-Selling Console in Both Units and Sales; Xbox Series Ranked 2nd

While the Nintendo Switch is still the market's leading platform in terms of units, September 2021 snaps the remarkable 33-month streak that the Nintendo Switch had as the market's leading platform in sales. The last time we saw something like this was in November 2018 when PlayStation 4 was the leader of that month's unit sales.

Nintendo Switch PlayStation 5

In terms of games, Madden NFL 22 has been repeated as the best-selling game of the month. Now, it ranks as the #2 best-selling game of 2021 to date. Meanwhile, Tales of Arise has set a new launch month dollar sales record for any Tales franchise release. The game is now ranked as the 4th best-selling game of September 2021.

Below, you'll be able to see charts showing this month's Top-selling titles across all platforms and individually:

NPD Group

In total, September 2021's consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories grew 3% when compared to a year ago, reaching a September record $4.4 billion. Year-To-Date spending reached $42.3B, a 12% increase versus a year ago.

The report also talks about the mobile market as well (with details provided by Sensor Tower). The mobile gaming market has exceeded $2 billion in consumer spending in eight of the nine months of 2021, including September. The average monthly spending is approximately 20% higher than that experienced in the first nine months of 2020.

This strong performance in the mobile games market is owed to its second highest-earning title: Genshin Impact. MiHoYo's game marked its one-year anniversary with spending up nearly 120% month over month. Other top-performing mobile games in the U.S. by consumer spending are:

  • Candy Crush Soda Saga
  • Bingo Blitz
  • Clash of Clans
  • Pokemon GO
  • Homescape
  • Roblox
  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Garena Free Fire

Here's a chart that explains the previously reported numbers in more detail:

NPD Group Nintendo PlayStation

Finally, the NPD Group report states that September 2021's spending on video game accessories fell by 12% compared to a year ago, to $171 Million. Year-to-date accessory sales reached $1.8 billion, increasing 9% when compared to a year ago. The lead in the accessory field is none other than the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller, which repeated as the best-selling accessory of September.

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